Sunday, August 12, 2018

Third Session - Communication Obstacles

Julius: Human male psychokinetic. Played by Dave. Speaks Balician and Tyrian.
Alaxander: Human male psychokinetic. Played by Ben. Speaks Balician and Elf.
Kalino: Human male fighter/preserver. Played by DM. Speaks Rammin and Tyrian.
Vashti: Human female clairsentient/water cleric. Played by my wife. Speaks Nibnese and Gith.
Guacamole: Pterran male ranger. Played by Clyde. Speaks Pterran and Giant.
Demetrius: Human male. 25 years old. Shepherd. NPC. Speaks Nibnese.
Salvador: Human male. 41 years old. Mason. NPC. Speaks Nibnese.
Agathon: Human male. 17 years old. Shepherd. NPC. Speaks Balician.
Cletus: Human male. 40 years old. Vinter. NPC. Speaks Balician.

Note: For those unfamiliar with Dark Sun, psionics are called the Will for wild talents and the Way for trained psionicists.

They stared at the stone door for little while, then Guacamole began moving the rocks that would prevent the group from rolling the pillar away from the door. Alaxander grabbed a rock and began banging it on the door, just to see if something banged back. Nothing did, so he began assisting with the removal of the rubble.
Once the rubble was removed and the pillar rolled out of the way, Alaxander got the idea to take a peek into the room using the Way. He made himself and the orb he was holding insubstantial and put his head and the orb through the door. Inside, he saw a dark-skinned Dwarf standing on an old table that looked about to collapse. He was beating two skeletons back with a stick, but would soon fall. Alaxander stepped back from the door and told his companions to open the door.
Once the door was opened, Guacamole rushed inside and attacked one of the skeletons and the others followed. Julius, unfortunately, was viciously wounded and the way failed him, when he tried to counter attack. Once the skeletons were defeated, the Dwarf thanked them. He told them his name was Abu Talib and he was an escaped slave. He explained that he, and three others, were escaped slaves and had come upon these ruins. In the process of exploring the ruins, they got separated and he was trapped inside the room when they were fleeing the skeletons. He didn't know how the pillar collapsed, but he'd been holding back the skeletons for three days.
Hopefully, his focus was not being killed by skeletons.

Although suspicious, the group invited Abu to join them. Abu agreed and the group went upstairs to rest by the well. They set up camp and Alaxander offered to keep the first watch, while he continued work on his chitin shield.

 Day 3, Week 1, Dominary, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, High Sun

When he woke Kalino for this watch, Kalino indicated that Abu was gone. Alaxander woke everyone, told Julius that Abu was gone, and tried to indicate it to the others. Guacamole could see that Abu's tracks went outside of the keep and pantomimed it to the others. It then took Julius awhile for the group to get past their communication barrier, but he finally made it clear that he wanted to move their sleeping place, just in case Abu came back with slavers. Everyone agreed and the group moved downstairs, into the storage room where they found water and kank honey.

Once inside, Julius and Kalino kept watch. Kalino borrowed Alaxander's obsidian dagger and those not keeping watch went to sleep. Kalino laid out the clay tablets and began carving his symbols into the arms, legs, and chest, similar to the tattoos and scars he already had. Julius was shocked at the apparent self-mutilation and asked Kalino what he was doing. Kalino reluctantly explained that he could read and the tablets contained valuable information that he could not stand to lose. When pressed further, he admitted to working with druids to undermine the sorcerer kings. Julius agreed that undermining the sorcerer kings was a worthy cause, but still thought Kalino was a little crazy.
Kalino carved into his body for a few hours, and then rubbed sand into his wounds. It was obviously painful and clear that Kalino did not enjoy it. When he was done, he smashed the tablets on the floor.
Everyone, except Alaxander, woke up and began their morning routine. Vashti gave a sermon about the glories of water, that only Demetrius and Salvador could understand. Then, she created water into an empty ceramic jug.
Good 'ol ceramic jugs.
She then healed Julius a bit, because he was still heavily damaged from the battle with the skeletons.They then began discussing, with few words and a lot of gestures, where they should go. The group did not fully understand, but they agreed that where the water cleric went, they would follow.
They trekked out into the desert. Sand soon gave way to rocky terrain and the sun beat mercilessly down upon them. The water they carried was not enough for everyone, so they paused during the hottest part of the day under a large rock. They set out to find as much water as they could. Most of them failed to find water and they drank all they had. Guacamole refused water and meditated instead. The day was spent walking through the wilderness. When the sun drew close to the horizon, they decided to stop and set up camp.
They cleared an area of rocks, as much as they could, and tried to start a fire with the wood they carried from the ruins. Some of them noticed lights in the distance, so Julius tried to conceal their fire with a crude rock wall. They decided not to investigate, but Guacamole disagreed and signaled that he was going to scout. After he left Alaxander began working on his chitin shield and keeping watch. Everyone else went to sleep.
Guacamole walked for an hour and a half. He saw a small walled village with a yucca tree grove on the outside. Yucca leaves made up the roofs and the walls were made of mud brick. Guacamole left and made the trek back to the camp. When he arrived, Alaxander was still keeping watch, but did not notice Guacamole silently slip into camp and go to sleep.

Day 4, Week 1, Dominary, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, High Sun

When Alaxander woke Julius up for the next watch, Julius asked him when Guacamole got back. Alaxander admitted that he didn't know. Julius began to have second thoughts about having Alaxander keep watch. A couple hours later, everyone, except Alaxander, woke up and began their morning routine. Vashti gave a sermon about the glories of water, that only Demetrius and Salvador could understand. Then, she created water into an empty ceramic jug.
Everyone decided to set out to find water. Most of them failed and they drank all they had. Guacamole again refused water and meditated instead. However, when everyone returned, they noticed Cletus was missing. Guacamole quickly found his tracks and followed them through the large rock formations. Everyone followed, except for the sleeping Alaxander and the watchful Kalino.
It didn't take long to find Cletus, lying at the foot of a cactus patch, seemingly asleep. Julius tried to reach out with his mind, but found nothing to contact. Vashti stepped forward and one to the cactus shot it's tethered spines at her, but missed. Vashti ran back to the group before it could do it again. The spines retracted and everyone could see that Cletus was impaled and dragged to the base of the cactus patch. They knew it was too late to save him. Vashti said a prayer to the elemental lords of water to keep Cletus in their wet embrace forever. They departed back to camp.
It took Guacamole awhile to try and communicate what he discovered on his scouting trip. First, he tried to build a model of a house, but failed to make his point clear. He then tried to show what he meant with his hands, but failed to make his point clear. Then he drew a picture in the dirt, it wasn't very good, but everyone seemed to understand. While they began discussing what to do, Guacamole started walking toward the village, so everyone followed.
The group was impressed with the yucca groves outside of the village and walked around it to some open mekillot bone doors. They went inside and was greeted by a scarred human woman holding a spear and wearing leather armor. She greeted them in Nibenese and them Tyrian, once she realized that those were the languages they could understand. She introduced herself as Asli. A man appeared, as Asli was telling the group about the law in the village, which she called Magaosa. A one handed man appeared and insulted her and the group, she told him to be quiet and sent him on his way. She called him Haluk. She invited the group in, but told them that no slaves were allowed in the village. The group assured her that they did not have any slaves and then went inside.
The group observed that the village was built in a square, with the buildings making up the outside walls and a large courtyard in the middle. The courtyard had a few merchants offering products made from yucca trees, and erdlu goods. Vashti began trading some of their procured kank honey for erdlu meat and yucca fruit. The group was pleased to have some tasty variety in their diets. Even though it was still morning, Vashti went to the inn and asked about some rooms. The owner of the Inn told her that the rooms were 2 bits per night per occupant and slept two.
Karida, Magosa Inn owner

Suddenly, a young man ran into the village courtyard with Asli behind him. He yelled about gith attacking his farm. As Julius began talking to him, a heavily tattooed Dwarf walked up. He said he was the Pasha of the village and talked with the young man. The Pasha turned to Julius and, luckily, spoke Balican. He told him that he did not have enough guards to protect the village and free the farm. He asked Julius, who was armed and armored, to help. The young man, Fikri, offered erdlu eggs in payment. Vashti returned, just as Julius was agreeing for the group. She quickly gave Demetrius, Salvador, and Agathon the groups few possessions and told them to stay in the village.
Julius, Kalino, Alaxander, Vashti, and Guacamole left the village, letting Fikri lead them to the farm.

Come back in two weeks for another exciting episode of Adventures under the Dark Sun.

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